Reports from Reds’ Spring Training:
Mike LeakeÃ‚Â is open to staying with Reds. So far, Reds have shown no interest. (Sheldon)
Leake was open to remaining with the Reds long term, but he’s also not afraid to dip his toes into the waters of the open market. “I’ll be happy to stay in Cincinnati, but I’d also be happy to go to free agency,” he said. “I’d like for them to show interest. They haven’t yet. If they don’t have interest, they don’t have interest.” Leake does not have a price range for what it would take to sign a long-term deal. “Not yet. If the time comes and they say they want to talk, we’ll talk and see what they say and how close they are,” Leake said.
Tony Cingrani looked good in his first bullpen session (Fay)
“He (Cingrani) was fine,” Price said. “He had a short little breaking ball to go with his fastball. He looked like he was throwing the ball without any issue, which was nice. He told our training staff he felt awesome. It was a good start to spring training.”
Devin Mesoraco wants to catch every game (but one). (Rosecrans)
“I’d like to catch 161 (games) and take one day off after we clinch,” Mesoraco said on Thursday, as pitchers and catchers had their first workouts of the spring. “I’m sure there are going to be some times where it makes sense to get Brayan in there and give me a couple of days to just regroup. As much as they want to write my name in the lineup is as much as I want to be back there.”
After ten consecutive offseasons in Florida, Joey Votto spent this one at home in Toronto. HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what he did. (Toronto Sun)
Spent time with family. VottoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mom Wendy is a mainstay at the Via Allegro Ristorante, an Etobicoke landmark. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d dine there often. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d drop by to see his brother Tyler, 26, at work. His twin brothers Ryan and Paul, 15, live in Brampton with mom. And thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why he was at the Brampton Soccer Centre for a minor ball outing, as part RBCÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Sports Day in Canada initiative.”
Rasiel Iglesias already has a better answer to the Ã¢â‚¬Å“what role do you preferÃ¢â‚¬Â question than his Cuban counterpart. Read the rest of a long interview with the Reds new $30 million pitcher. (Fay)
Does he prefer to start or relieve? “I’ve been preparing myself for a spot in the rotation. But I’m here to help the team. I will do whatever the team asks me to do.”
Meet Anthony DeSclafani, who appears to have an inside track for the starting rotation (Sheldon)
The Reds feel that DeSclafani has the tools and pitches to be a successful starter in the big leagues. “A lot of it was based on what we saw with our scouting department and on our video and just our background stuff — what we’ve seen visually, what we’ve heard from people that had him about his ability to command the strike zone with quality pitches and his makeup,” Price said.
Homer BaileyÃ‚Â is fine withÃ‚Â baseballÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new rules for speeding up the game. (Sheldon)
Reds pitcher Homer Bailey felt that the inning-break enforcement was a positive improvement. “I know there have been more times by far that I’m ready to go in an inning and they’re telling me to hold on because of TV,” Bailey said. “A lot of times, I think it’s more the pitchers are ready than anything. Relievers and stuff, I agree, they should only get so much time to get to the rubber.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Bryan Price favors the new rules, but is wary of speeding up the game too much (McCoy)
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They talk about the pace of the game, but how about the quality of the game,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Price. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Baseball is a game of strategies. If we have to change the rules to affect the strategies to make it quicker. . .I think we lose sight of the intentions of a storied game. It is a great game for a million different reasons.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Johnny Cueto wants to stay with the Reds. But when the number $300 million came up in the conversation, it sounds like it was only half-joking. (Fay)
The Reds are unlikely to be able to pay Cueto $210 million. Does he need that top, top dollar to stay? “I don’t know,” Cueto said. “Let’s see what happens. I’m going to put my faith in God and see what happens. I don’t how much it costs Ã¢â‚¬â€ less or more. I can’t tell you that. I don’t know.” The reality is the Reds may not be able to keep Cueto, even though they would love to. “There’s no disrespect,” Price said. “It’s the fact that we have different challenges than teams that can pay $210 million for a starting pitcher. I don’t know if that’s something we can do. But he’s earned the right to be one of those top-tier, top-paid pitchers.
New Reds reliever Burke Badenhop is familiar with advanced metrics. (Rosecrans)
When Badenhop joined the Rays before the 2012 season after four years with the Marlins, he was introduced more to the statistical analysis favored by Tampa and many other teams. Because of his education, the numbers made a lot of sense to him, and he started looking at advanced statistics more, as well as thinking about which numbers were really important.
A couple new Top Prospects lists were published.
Baseball AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Top-100 included three Reds: Robert Stephenson (#23), Jesse Winker (#47) and Rasiel Iglesias (#58). FanGraphs published a Top-200 list, with these Reds: Stephenson (#25), Winker (#39), Iglesias (#62), Michael Lorenzen (#88), Alex Blandino (#122), Nick Howard (#128), Nick Travieso (#141), also included: Yorman Rodriguez, Aristides Aquino and Amir Garrett.
The Reds are slowing down Robert Stephenson out of concern for his shoulder. Doug Gray advises against panic, for now (Gray).
As noted above, the Reds donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem too concerned and we probably shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be either. With pitchers, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s better to be cautious and that seems to be the plan that the organization is taking. Time will tell where this goes, and if heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not throwing in a week, then we can start to wonder. For now, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not sounding like much.